Distant Horizon 2 - Day two

It was an early start – around 5:30am.  I had not intended to be up at this time, but I could not seem to rest easy thinking a lot about the day ahead – when should I leave the mooring to get the ebb tide to Breydon?  Where and how was I going to place the cameras and would the new cables I’d bought work for those who would come and watch live later and where exactly would I be making for as an overnight mooring?

Breakfast was had and after a couple of coffees I was feeling much more clear.  The usual messing about with cables and cameras resulted in the also very common issue of none of them working when they were plugged in and had power – a lot of choice words and configuring software later everything was set and working.  Time to chill out and go for a walk.

It was a glorious morning, but the wind was just as bad today as yesterday.  I walked along the dyle to the River Thurne and just sat down by the river and let all the worries ebb away – a stroll back to the boat and time to give things a trial run, which went well as far as the cameras and computer went. 

I guessed to leave about 11:45am to12:00pm would mean I could take it easy down to Acle and planned on being at Acle Bridge by about 12:45pm – frankly my timings were all shot to bits because I arrived earlier than I needed to at Acle Bridge and soon found that at this rate I would be at Yarmouth very much before 3:00pm which is when I had said I would be going live with the broadcast.  As it happened being earlier than I had wanted worked in my favour.

It is not that common to be able to be outside on a lovely sunny day and not have any worries about what time you need to be somewhere by and at the end of the day no idea where you may end up being.  In taking it so slowly in idle down the Bure meant I began to see things around me I would otherwise have missed – not only see things but hear the bird song more as the engine was ticking over you could hear so much more.  I can thoroughly recommend you try doing this
– even if just for half an hour somewhere because you do  see so much more about you and even butterfly’s would come and flutter about the boat – it was really lovely.

The sun was bearing down on me all the time, but the stiff head wind was keeping me cool – as it happens this was masking something that I had no idea was going on – I was slowly cooking.  The first I knew of this was on Breydon Water when I thought ‘odd my lips feel a bit sore’ and my face when the wind was not blowing felt unusually ‘warm’.  Little did I know just how bad the sun burn would get.

So through Yarmouth I went, out onto Breydon Water and past the Berney Arms – the pub open for business with a couple of boats tied up and people enjoying a drink in the sunshine.  Onwards I went and it felt great having a bunch of people in the chat room talking to me, telling me ETA’s to places and where I was and so on.  Reedham came and went, then the chain ferry – indeed it began to cross over the river just as I was approaching it, so that was another first to see it in action. Not too long the mouth of the River Chet came – I was tempted to scrub all the plans and head to Loddon – but no I wanted to get as far south before the sunset as I could – so pressed on.

Then the Cantley Sugar Works loomed into view – they are not beautiful by any means, yet their sheer scale and impact somehow does not feel out of place – I thought about how this river once would have had the coasters running along it but now it is a very different place – even the number of hire boats thinned out past the Reedcutter pub and then I had the rivers to myself. 

Up next of interest was the Beauchamp Arms and then Rockland Broad a few minutes later – this had been one of the plans for a possibly over night – but I was doing well and with good guidance being given in the chat room pressed onward.  Next up was Brundall – Coldham Hall and the start of what I thought looked like a posher ‘Potter Heigham’.  Instead of quant and sometimes eccentric chalets and riverside bungalows, these looked grander and instead of a dayboat or old Calypso would have a Broom worth a few hundred thousand. 

I liked it to look at, but I could not help feel as if I had motored into a sort of elite riverside club – where perhaps keeping up with the Joneses had moved on to something more akin to keeping up with the Kardashians. Let me explain – if you turned up to a party in Dartford in a BMW M5 you would make a statement, you would no doubt get a lot of the fairer sex take a great interest in you  and leave very much not alone, However if you took the same car to a party Chelsea you would not get a second look.  So as Sealines, Brooms and the like lined the river banks – they all blended in to be much the same; different sizes of shiny white plastic boats that cost a fortune – perhaps I thought you could have too much of a good thing after all.

Moving on through Brundall  Birds Dyke came and past – this Leads to Surlingham Broad (or is it Bargate) now this I must say looked very tempting – indeed the whole scene was very lush, very beautiful with the trees – I was frankly lost thinking I had less distance to travel that I actually had, for it was decided (I am not sure by whom or how) that Brampton Common would be my overnight mooring and I was informed I would make this with time to spare before the sunset.

Further along the river the Ferry House pub came into view – what a lovely looking pub this was – in fact the pubs in this part of Broadland seemed to be that little bit more special, as if plucked from a nice country lane and put by the river’s edge. The river was not so wide now, the sides lined with greenery and with the sun’s rays casting a soft shadow over the landscape it felt as if it was August not April.   It was not far since passing the Ferry the trees thinned and a great vista over the marshland greeted the eye.  Sure the Southern river’s may be reed lined and wide and sometimes don’t offer such interest as their northern counterparts in the pretty stakes, but they also have the ability to astound around the next corner.

And then ahead I saw the moorings come into view at Brampton – they have electric if you need it at the ‘Norwich’ end of them, which is where I happened to moor – well looked after too.  I looked down and found at some point the live stream had gone off air, a shame as I had not the opportunity to thanks those who had joined me for the trip – requested music to be played and kept me company in the chat room.  For those who were there though – thank you now.

I had little time to get the cameras in and cables off – I’d not weatherproofed any of it and the dew was beginning to settle.  I was tired – I had left the moorings at Womack Dyke around 11:45am and now I was moored up and having brought the cameras in it was getting on for 8:00pm.  It was not until I went below and thought I had better look in the mirror and see my sore lips, did I see the full extent of my sun burn – in April just a week previous it was raining and in parts of the UK snow – now I was burning up with no cream and no hat!  I knew tomorrow would be even hotter and so was worried how the long trip back north to Acle might affect my skin.  As it was, it was time for a cool shower and put the dinner on – an actually very nice Pepperoni Pizza with salad and garlic bread – oh and a couple of beers.


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